Shock as raids net seven illegal workers

A SPATE of raids on Spilsby restaurants has unearthed seven illegal workers during a nationwide crackdown conducted by the UK Border Agency.

The revelation that three restaurants in the town came as a shock to the Mayor of Spilsby Coun David Pleming.

“I must say that it was a surprise because Spilsby has a very good reputation for restaurants and we always assumed they were all perfectly legal.” He said. “I know there will be quite substantial fines involved and I hope it won’t drive these businesses away because we all enjoy our Indian and Chinese meals here in Spilsby.”

Following a story in last week’s Standard about four illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and an Indian man who had out stayed his visa, it has been announced that two more operations have identified similar breaches of the law.

Last Monday officers visited the Charm Spice restaurant on the High Street and sealed all exits before questioning the staff and checking their immigration status.

A 30-year-old Bangladeshi man who had entered the UK illegally and had no right to employment was detained while action is taken to remove him from the country.

And on December 15 two Chinese workers were arrested after a raid on Jade Garden Chinese Takeaway, also on the High Street, after checks revealed they had illegally entered the UK.

All three businesses were issued with on-the-spot penalty notices for employing illegal workers and may now face fines of up to £10,000 per worker.

They must prove that they carried out the correct pre-employment checks on their staff to avoid this penalty.

Since April 1, 2010 the UK Border Agency has arrested 28 illegal workers at 23 businesses in Lincolnshire as part of a drive to eradicate illegal working, sham marriage, bogus colleges and organised immigration crime.

Rachel Challis, from the UK Border Agency’s Boston team said: “Any business that takes a foreign national without permission to work should be aware that they are breaking the law as well as undermining law-abiding employers.

“Rogue employers would be warned that they face heavy fines and could end up in jail.

“We will continue to crack down on companies that employ illegal workers and fail to carry out proper checks on passports and other identity documents.

“We would urge the public to get in touch with us if they have information about suspected immigration abuse.”

- Were you surprised that so many workers have been unearthed in Spilsby? Email andrew.hirst@jpress.co.uk.